- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Stoller on October 05, 1999 at 14:29:56:

In Reply to: The Flog Problem posted by bill on October 04, 1999 at 10:53:08:

One of the best posts I've ever seen! Great format!

: Now the question is:

: If slavery is illegal in the U.S., do/should Americans have the right to buy/sell the products of slave labor?

This is a momentous question for all laborers!

All of us have the responsibility for oppression overseas. Not only do products made cheaper by the intensification of labor exploitation overseas temporarily raise the living standard of workers in developed nations (thus bribing acceptance of imperialist policies), it ultimately results in the lowering of living standards of those workers! Here is the Problem of the Common on a global scale. We are most responsible---especially as more and more of us leave the production process and enter the circulation sphere (where no value is added to the increasingly onerous costs of constant capital).*

We may want to 'do the right thing' and buy conscientiously---but those decisions are ultimately decided by those who employ---and pay---us! So... the question is really a class question: if slavery is illegal in the U.S., do American capitalists have the right to open trade in the interests in bribing the U.S. proletariat with slave products? To flood those lands with our Dept. 1 products? And, conversely: if slavery is illegal in the U.S., do American capitalists have the right the block trade of slave products when those products threaten their profits? We---the proletariat---cannot expect participation in these matters under the current power relations.


* For an elaboration of my idea of 'middle class culpability,' see post 3132.

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